18 September 2007

Gruppo F photographer featured in NY Arts Magazine

Gruppo F photographer Marcin Górski is featured
in the September-October issue of the New York based
NY Arts Magazine Good to see you here, there
and everywhere Marcin. /urbano
Picture by Mikael Jansson

Meeting Martin Parr (part2)

Martin Parr during the lecture, 1/09/2007 (JK)

I’ve taken the language of commercial photography, its colours and the schutzbar of it , and made it into my own language, which of course has overlaps with other contemporary photographers.
I understand fully that the world of advertising, and indeed all the photography we are surrounded by is propaganda. So I suppose my aim is to counter that propaganda in my own work, with my own form of subjectivity, my fictional form of using photographs, because you’re making, if you like, a fiction based on reality, which has a personal truth in it, rather than an objective one, which is what advertising is about where they’re trying to make everything look better than it really is. But it’s not just advertising: family portraits are a form of propaganda, because they try to show the perfect family and a kid crying is not allowed in this.
So all the forms of photography that we are surrounded by are propaganda. So the good thing about photography that you might find in a gallery situation is that they have a slightly different agenda, and half of their job is to counter the images we are surrounded by on a daily basis. But I welcome the fact that we are surrounded by so many pictures that are telling us lies, because it means you have the opportunity to show a personal truth and put it better in front of a potential audience.
Martin Parr, from The last resort series

Magnum – part. 2.
I think Magnum is extremely well placed in terms of agencies, because in the days of homogenisation and being surrounded by people like Getty and Corbus, the notion of a co-operative still surviving with the voice of the individual coming through and being the main thing, I think is as relevant today and as respected today as it has ever been, we need it more now perhaps even more than before.
You have to remember there is a massive number of new photographers coming on board, if you think of sites like Flicker or all these sharing sites. There is a colossal interest in photography, everybody has a camera in their cell phone. So the audience for photography have never been bigger! So what better time to seize the moment and to show that Magnum is still relevant. The type of photographers they take on is changing. So we’re very much keeping up with what’s happening in photography. And I’m very happy about it.

Taking pictures of the English
I’d say the English can run hot and cold about what I do. I mean strangely enough, when I do work on the English, the people who enjoy it most are people like the French. Because there is always an element of mischief in this work, which I think is an essential ingredient and they respond very well to that, and that’s the thing that has helped make my career an international one.

Bus shelter or a book?
It has happened many times that my pictures were used in a bus shelter, both as advertising, because I do advertising. It’s funny I’m now being embraced by the industry, whose language I stole and subverted. They use me now as well. Who am I to not take their money? I’m happy to do that. But I’ve also had projects on bus shelter sites that are my own pictures, and in my retrospective book you can see pictures in stations, so yes, I’ll grab any means possible. But of course in the end, the thing I most like is a book. Because I’m a complete book-nut. I’ve done this big survey on photographic books. I love photographic books with a passion.

Swedish Photography
Lars Tunbjörk - he’s a great photographer. Of course I know people like Christer Strömholm. The great names in Swedish photography! Well, there are, in my opinion, many, many Swedish photographers (…), but to be honest it’s difficult for me to know all their names. So don’t ask me for a list of my top ten Swedish photographers. At home I have a substantial number of photography books from Sweden, because Sweden has made a very important contribution to contemporary practice.

I’ve always said that I’ve changed to colour from black&white in 1982, it’s 25 years ago…And I won’t change back, why would I? I just like colour, and can’t see myself ever wanting to take black&white. I like black&white photographs from the past, they have their role, but the road is moving on. Certainly you have modern black&white photographers, I’m not that dogmatic.
Martin Parr at Kulturhuset, 31/08/2007 (JK)

Have a look at the first part of our interview: http://gruppof.blogspot.com/2007/09/meeting-martin-parr.html
Joanna Kinowska, Ulf Fågelhammar. With the great help of Benjamin Cope.